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An Electrical Fairytale from Wizard of Oz Author L. Frank Baum

At the start of the 20th century, electricity was not taken for granted. It was regarded as something almost magical by many people, including Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, who was so inspired by electricity that he wrote a fairytale about it. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900. Baum’s next […]

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Savoy Cocktail Book podcast

White Lady, Corpse Reviver, the Rattlesnake…. Our latest podcast is about the Savoy Cocktail Book and cocktail mixing. Published in 1930, this legendary Art Deco-style recipe book was written by barman Harry Craddock, who never wrote anything else. Discover Harry’s tips for making a decent cocktail and how he poured drinks for three of London’s […]

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Jamieson’s Heavenly Celestial Atlas from 1822

Alexander Jamieson was an 18th century schoolteacher who wrote textbooks on the side. His books included A Grammar of Universal Geography, A Grammar of Logic and Intellectual Philosophy and the Mechanics of Fluids for Practical Men, and you can be excused for giving these three a miss. But you cannot turn your back on Jamieson’s […]

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Still loved today: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This just sold for $850. It’s a UK first edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published by William Heinemann in 1911. It has illustrated endpapers, and eight full-page tissue-guarded color plates by Charles Robinson. Published in the same year as the first American book edition, Hodgson Burnett’s classic story for children was […]

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Mark Your Calendars: Washington Antiquarian Book Fair April 28-29

Immerse yourself in the world rare books and ephemera at the 42nd annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, taking place April 28-29 at the Sphinx Club in Washington, DC. This year, over 60 exhibitors from all over the United States will be displaying rare books, manuscripts, modern first editions, autographs, prints, maps, drawings and other fine […]

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Coming Up: Florida Antiquarian Book Fair – April 21-23

“For book lovers, it’s Paradise.” That’s the tagline of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, the oldest antiquarian fair in the Southeastern United States and the third largest in the nation. Hosted by the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the event is taking place for its 36th year this April 21-23 at the historic Coliseum in St. […]

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Did these toy building blocks inspire young Einstein’s imagination?

Albert Einstein’s much-loved childhood building blocks have been listed for sale on AbeBooks.com. Housed in two wooden boxes, the set features approximately 160 pieces with some chipped from use. Did these humble toy building blocks nurture the imagination of the boy who would become the world’s greatest physicist? It’s inspiring to think that these simple […]

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Memories of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 88 yesterday, on January 15th, 2017, were he not publicly assassinated on April 4th, 1968. Today,  Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States, observed annually on the third Monday in January, close to MLK’s birthday. Now 49 years after his murder, longer dead than […]

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Collecting Nostalgia: Vintage Christmas Memorabilia

With its time-honored traditions, sacred recipes passed down through generations and emphasis on family and friends, few areas of life lend themselves so well to nostalgia as Christmas. Of the families who celebrate Christmas, everyone does it a little bit differently. My husband’s family are Cuban, and celebrate “Noche Buena” on December 24th, opening all […]

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Why would a book on urban planning sell for $3,000?

Jane Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961. A signed first edition just sold for $3,000 on AbeBooks. The book is as relevant today as it was at the start of the 1960s. It is a damning assessment of America’s urban planning of the 1950s. Jacobs blamed planners for the […]

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